Our internet has been down for 5 days. We are upgrading to our own internet system (not sharing it with anyone) and that will be installed in about 4 more days. In the meantime, we are at a friend’s house who is allowing us to catch up on stuff using his connection.
In that vein, I have a VERY disorganized post. It is about halfway done, but I share what I have so far with you. Sorry if I haven’t replied to your comments, but time online right now is short. I’ve read all of of them and thank you so much for reading. Here’s the first half of what’s been happening here during our first 3 weeks in Panama:
Okay, so here’s the lengthy post I promised you a while back. A ton of stuff, both good and bad, has happened in the two weeks since I last posted. This post will not be very organized; it’s more of a free flowing of events, incidents and thoughts.
John and I rented the condo of our dreams – the one we had seen last May, but at that time was only for sale. We negotiated a better rent rate than the one listed and feel pretty good about it. After only four days of living in Boquete, we moved our crap, er, most important belongings into the condo on Sunday, February 20th.
I spent most of the day sweeping out all the bugs, roaches, flys and other creepy crawleys that tend to collect in an un-lived-in home. In the two weeks we’ve lived here:
1) We’ve discovered that “furnished” is a subjective term. Endless trips down the hill to David (45 minutes away) and more money than we budgeted later, it is approaching livable;
2) I’m discovering how I can furnish a home from two sources: the local “Home Depot” called the Do-It Center in David, and the Boquete ‘department store’ on Main Street called La Reina Noviedades. Photos to come in future posts.
3) The valley/mountain views are as captivating as living on oceanfront property.
4) We discovered why our kitchen sink was not draining. One week , two plumbers and one hole later it was revealed that the pipe from the house to the drainage system does not exist. The pipe from the house ended a few inches from our patio. Every time we ran water, it emptied into the ground outside our home.
5) I was told that some workers never do a job correctly. “Why do that? You’ll never call me back for more work. If I leave something done wrong, you’ll call me and I can charge you more.” I’m guessing that could be true anywhere in the world….
6) I’ve attracted some sort of bug that revisits me in the early morning hours. It’s not a bug I can swat; it’s on the inside of me. Water here not only needs to be filtered, it needs to be either reverse osmosis or UV treated to kill the parasites. Well, one got to me. I will either eliminate it naturally or an anti-parasitic is in my future. Either way, I’m losing weight, girls!!!
7) I experienced a glorious moment the other morning. Sitting out on the patio with a cup of Panamanian coffee in my hand, just enjoying the early part of the day. I was sitting pretty still when all of a sudden a hummingbird flew right into my face and inspected my orange coffee mug that was poised at my lips. I stayed still as mouse, not even moving my eyeballs. It hovered in front of my face, checking me (the mug) out, and then moved off in search of bugs. I got to watch the most interesting harvest! It moved up and down the walls of the patio, picking little spiders and bugs off the walls, even moving down into the corners of the patio railing to snatch some breakfast. It was very methodical as it moved from piece to piece of the railing, snatching and biting and grabbling the whole way down the line. What a show, what an experience!
8) Some items here are much more expensive than in the States. Any piece of hard goods, it seems, cost more. Irons, kitchen wares, pots and pans, etc, But food is much much less.
9) Farmers here use pesticides that are banned in the U.S. so either we order fruits and veggies from the organic farmers, or you thoroughly wash every bit of food before you consume it. A friend gave me a recipe: 3 to 4 oz. of lemon juice mixed with 3 to 4 ozs of white vinegar. Put it in an average sized spray bottle and fill the rest with bottled water. Spray foods thoroughly; let sit for 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Thank god I’m not working any more; all this food prep could take all day as it is!!
10) Somehow bugs are finding our way into our condo every night. We sweep up bugs every day.
11) I’ve discovered what I can and cannot live without:
I cannot (and I emphasize cannot) live with the bluish-white fluorescent low energy bulbs. It reminds me of cheap motels and being poor. I will never live with those. I spent lots of good money changing out every single bulb in this place to the soft yellow bulbs. I’ll go fluorescent – no problemo, I’ll do my part for ecology, but the color is extremely important to me. When I was done, John turned to me and said “I hate to admit it, but you’re right dear, these are much better.”
“What did you say, dear?” I replied….”I couldn’t hear you, could you repeat that?” heh heh heh
I gotta have color on the walls. I cannot live with white walls everywhere.
A girl just HAS to have her own brand of toilet paper in the place. ‘Nuff said.
12) I’m learning the value of doorstops. Our condo is a wind tunnel. Open the sliding doors to the back, open the front door and the house is freshened up in under 30 seconds. Of course, if you forget to insert the door stops, you run the risk of hearing a sonic boom with the door slamming shut.
More to come soon, I promise, as soon as we get back online!